For centuries, aliens have been arriving from Europe and Asia, imported as garden flowers, herbal flavorings or medicines, or just hitching a ride with crop seeds. They came from climates similar to ours and, finding no enemies, the likes of Garlic Mustard, Purple Loosestrife, Japanese Knotweed, and Japanese Barberry thrived to become pests.
Enter global warming. As the New England winters weaken, both plants and animals that could not survive here are moving northward. While white birches and other species are dying off because of the warmth, palms are already surviving in southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and kudzu, which has been called “the plant that ate the South,” has crossed the Mason-Dixon and is already in Connecticut.
How to deal with so complex a problem befuddles even the experts, but it can’t hurt for us to leave a smaller footprint on our Earth, while at the same time, stomping invasives when we spot them.